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Topic: Anyone know if "MFB" shortening is good for frosting?
momtobe 12/05/2011 1:04 PM
I was in a restaurant supply store "Schiffs" in Pennsylvania the other day.
I inquired about hi-ratio shortening....they looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.

When I told them it is often sold in a 50 lb. box they said "oh, we have MFB shortening".
The guy showed me the box, but I did not buy it, as I had never heard of it. (I didn't want to have him open it just for me)

It is made by ConAgra...I have the UPC (not handy at the moment).

can anyone advise if this is the same as Hi-ratio shortening?

I will have the opportunity to be back in Scranton as my dad is in the hospital there-so I can always take a side trip.
bunnywoman 12/05/2011 2:45 PM
I don't know for sure.

I did put in a call just now to Conagra Foods and they are going to search their records and get back to me either by phone or e-mail. When I hear something back I will certainly let you know.

momtobe 12/05/2011 3:52 PM
Thanks Bunnywoman,
you are the BEST!

Spooky_789 12/05/2011 9:47 PM
One thing when buying it in bulk like that from restaurant suppliers, it may not be known as high ratio shortening, but as cake or icing shortening. Ask them about that.
momtobe 12/06/2011 11:19 AM
hi Spooky, thank you,
I tried that.
They are "just sellers". FIrst I was pointed in the direction of the regular baking aisle, which had crisco. I went back and told them hi-ratio shortening, and that it sometimes comes in 50 lb blocks. So she checked her computer for shortening and came up with this one. (nothing that says hi-ratio though and she didn't know what it was used for, only that they sold it)

the box looks like one I had ages ago. However, I did not want them to rip it open to find out it was wrong. I figured I'll be going back in that direction (2 hours away) to visit my dad when he gets out of the hospital. (hubby is currently with him as I watch my kids).

Now if I am back in that area and don't know if it is what I need, and I don't know when I'll be back again, I'll ask them to rip that box open for me! LOL (maybe even bring my mixer , some 10x and a few ingredients and whip up a batch to taste test! LOL)

Hopefully bunnywoman hears something from ConAgra...she seems to get the best info out there. I would probably call them and sound like a moron! or maybe somoene else who has used this product will tell me it's ok or to stay away from it.

bunnywoman 12/06/2011 12:29 PM
I got and answer back from Conagra, but I am still gonna do some more digging into this.

I promise I will report back..............
momtobe 12/06/2011 12:51 PM
Thanks BW!
MaBakes 12/06/2011 3:52 PM
Info on MFB shortening (Wesson Foods)
Fat 12 g
Saturated fat 3g
Shelf Life 24 months
Temperature 70 degrees F.
Calories 107 / Tbsp
This information is off the box. Hope this helps
It is good for frosting and excellent in baking.
momtobe 12/06/2011 4:17 PM
Hi MaBakes,
thanks for the info.
Do you use it for frosting?
The price seemed great (roughly $55 for the 50 lbs-they said it could fluctuate)
I would use it for frosting, not baking.
MaBakes 12/06/2011 4:26 PM
Hi,yes that is what we use in the bakery for everything. Makes great frosting.
Spooky_789 12/06/2011 6:55 PM
MaBakes, do you use the Red Label or Blue Label? I'm finding both on the web and the Blue Label seems to be used for baking and the Red Label seems to be used for frying (although it does work for baking too).

Here is a link that shows all of the Wesson Products.
bunnywoman 12/06/2011 6:56 PM
Ok from what I can tell on the product data sheet I would say you would be good to go to use in icing. I'd buy it.

Now..........the curiosity got the better of me and I had to dig waaaaaaaaay deeper into this, many phone conversations later and this is what went down. This is what the guy told me when I inquired about Sweetex and SweetexZ as I was inquiring as to what EXACTLY makes a shortening "hi-ratio?" I know Sweetex is classified as such so there was where my quest began. Read below:

"Hi ratio is meant for making CAKES and NOT ICING. He said I was one of many who have contacted him about using the hi-ratio in icings. He wanted to know WHY cake decorators want to use hi-ratio in icings as that is not what it is meant for. I proceeded to tell him that I have made a bowl of hi-ratio shortening icing AND a Crisco shortening icing and set them side by side and there is a considerable difference in appearance and performance. I asked him to then explain to me the difference between the hi-ratio version and what I can readily buy in the grocery store that has 0 trans fat. He said," The hi ratio pertains to cakes, not icing. It yields a nice, light, tender crumb in wedding cakes which is what cake decorators want. It all comes down to the base fats and the crystalization of the different fats. The hi ratio has partially hydrogenated fats and the SweetexZ has palm fats. The crystalization of the partially hydrogenated fats will raise the melting point of the high ratio."
I asked about if the hi ratio had different emulsifiers in it (as that has been what I have been told for years) and he said no. It pertains to the different base fats. "

Now when I look at the product data sheets it does specifically say for the SweetexZ....Cake & Icing shortening and for the other it says Sweetex Hi Ratio shortening. So their company is recommending to use the zero trans fats for making icing.

So this is all very interesting to me to say the least. I have been told and read for years just the opposite.
cakedujour 12/06/2011 7:44 PM
Which shortening do you prefer when making icing, Bunny? I find such a difference when using high ratio "icing shortening" that I plan to keep using it. Have you tried the brand that you and I split yet? To me there is no going back to the regular stuff.
mmumsie 12/06/2011 10:15 PM
I'm with you CDJ. I love the results of the high ratio shortening and will continue to use it in my icing.

But, this is also good news for the scratch baker. A better crumb. Now I don't use solid shortening in my batter, so I'm not quite sure how to use it cake batter. That would be another question for the manufactures of the product.

I'm waiting to hear from the company that CK gets their High Ratio shortening from too. Just to compare what they say. This has been very enlightening to say the least.
MaBakes 12/07/2011 6:55 AM
Spooky_789, we use the blue label. It has a higher trans fat level. Blue has 3 g and the red has 2g. On occasion they have sent the red label by mistake and it worked fine also. This a health food store bakery so everything is made from scratch,no mixes what so ever. I do think that this shortening is comparable to the generic brand that you would buy at the grocery store. Either type in the red or the blue box has a very long shelf life and can be stored at room temp. Don't have to worry about spoilage, I have used it in my home for making frosting and it turns out very nice. I would certainly purchase it.
momtobe 12/07/2011 7:21 AM
Thank you all for your input.

I LOVE this website. I'm not here as often as I would like to be lately. As I was standing in the store debating wether or not to buy this product I said to myself "the people on the wilton discussion forums should be able to answer this!"

Thank you again to all!! (can you tell I"m happy?!)
mmumsie 12/21/2011 3:01 PM
Okay, I heard from Bunge Oil who refines food grade oils, for manufactures of shortenings and food products.
He told me that High Ratio Shortening is not high ratio based on the transfat content. It's the emulsifiers in the product. It holds water, air and shortening together to get a creamier effect.

They made two types of shortening: Vreamay Cake & Icing Shortening - Superior shorteing structure and emulsifier system. Great product for the scratch baker. Makes an excellent crumb, high volume, smooth & symmetrical cakes and exceptional moisture retention and extended shelf life.

Then there is Penguin Icing Shortening which is developed specific for icing. Specially hydrogenated - with emulsifiers. Icings are lighter, moister and more stable. Retains softness longer. Greater stability for remixing and extended use.

CK's brand of High Ratio is a soy based product with the emulsifiers. Which one of these, I'm not sure. I'll try to do some more digging.

He is guessing that grocery store shortenings are made from a palm oil based product. Thus they don't hold together as well as the soy product.

The research continues.....
bunnywoman 12/21/2011 7:40 PM
This is interesting as the two informations are different in some aspects but yet we both contacted the manufacturers.


I think the companies are gonna get sick of me contacting them and asking questions.
Spooky_789 12/22/2011 11:14 AM
I took a look at my box of HRS last night and the ingredients list soy based stuff, not palm. I think the brand or name is HyCakes. It's a cake shortening. But I have had excellent results with my BC.

Makes me wonder if I were to use it in making a cake, how the results would be. I'm not sure though how I would do that since I use mostly box mixes, would I sub out the oil with the HRS. Hmmm. Maybe it would work better in scratch recipes than box recipes.

Anyone try it in their actual baking of the cake? If so, scratch or box? How did it come out?
mmumsie 12/22/2011 11:58 AM
The saga continues. I asked CK to send me the spec. sheet on their high ratio shortening. On their website it says it's BakeMark brand, but the spec sheet is from Stratus Foods. ???? Not BakeMark. In fact late yesterday BakeMark called to say they don't sell to CK at all. :S What gives.

Stratus food sheet says it's for cakes as well. "Produces higher volume and more symmetrical cakes. Partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, with mono and diglycerides added."